Cardboard Box Ramps: Trial & Error

LearningPreschoolers22 Comments

Henry (along with most preschool boys) loves things that move.

These cardboard box ramps were no exception.

The ramps are leftover cardboard box flaps (from the Box Flap Bridges) that I hot glued inside another cardboard box. I cut a square hole in the lower end of each box flap for the ball to fall through, along with a hole at the top of the main cardboard box.

Henry tested the ramps over and over as I was making them.

Because of his testing, I was able to see what didn’t work. The balls fell off the edges.With painters tape, I created a lip for the ramps. (This worked well in the beginning, but over time, the lip got smashed and didn’t hold the objects in all the time.)

On the bottom box flap, I cut three holes above plastic jars to create a Plinko affect for the balls to fall into.

Where will the ball fall?

Henry had fun dropping the balls in the holes to see where they would land.

I intended this activity for golf balls, but it wasn’t long before other toys got a chance to roll and slide down the ramps.

Trial & Error:

Henry tried toys that were too big.

Henry tested blocks. A square block surprisingly went down all the ramps, sliding the entire way.

A cylindrical block rolled, but needed some help as it fell to the next ramp.

Henry tried smaller cars that fit through the holes, but usually crashed as it fell through the hole to the next ramp.

Even some Little People got a chance to take a tumble down the ramps.

Wouldn’t this be fun to be life size? A maze of ramps for your preschooler to tumble and roll through!

But the ball is the best at the cardboard box ramps.

Rachelle at Tinkerlab has challenged about 20 blogger friends to create something with a cardboard box. Below is everyone’s cardboard box creations for Tinkerlab’s Creative Challenge : The Cardboard Box


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  1. Melissa @ The Chocolate Muffin Tree says

    This looks like Great Fun! Great idea too! Boxes are great and make the best
    imaginative toys!!!! I'm excited to try your idea and all the others!

  2. Anna @ The Imagination Tree says

    This is very similar to one of the ideas we were going to go with! It's great- so much fun and play to be got out of it, plus thinking and prediction skills. Very clever!

  3. Messy Kids says

    I think it's funny that boys always have to stick cars on ramps. It doesn't matter what kind of ramp or what the ramp is for, the cars always end up there! Great project!

  4. ಪುಟ್ಟಿಯ ಅಮ್ಮ/Putti Amma says

    Another great idea!! Love how your little boy explored it with many things, fantastic!

    I think i need atleast 20 boxes to try all the wonderful ideas:)

  5. rachelle | tinkerlab says

    Isn't this wonderful!! I can imagine the excitement that was building for Henry as you were making and testing this out. And I love that you've shared all of the objects that he tested out, and getting a glimpse into the way he's learning about ramps, gravity, balls, and such. This looks like the kind of toy that you could keep around for a long while. Thanks for being part of the Creative Cardboard Challenge!!

  6. Kate @ An Amazing Child says

    J just loves cars and ramps. This is definitely his favourite activity. I love all the experimentation going on here. J does the same thing. At the moment he is filling his touch box with the phone handset and some stuffed toys and saying 'phone where aaaaarrrrreee you?' super cute.

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